Walking past a casket with a familiar face lying inside there are lines on the face that tell stories we’ll never hear, the closed eyes and mouth make you look at peace like you are in a better place having to stare down at this ugly earth while we have the freedom and joy to look up at that beautiful sky and dream what’s beyond our wildest imagination. Walking past a casket you lie still and look frail – when old age hits an invisible countdown begins. If ever losing a grandparent why have I mourned differently? Why do I walk past in sadness but with a tone of acceptance…it is what it is and its going to be what its going to be. At that age we see the years of experience crossing your face, we wish we would have asked more questions about your life and little things we should have made note of. We see the wear and tear the world takes on people and with age comes wisdom and with that aged wisdom comes a frailty only one finality can relieve where you will be put in peace.
Why do I hurt so much more walking past a casket holding an even more familiar face – this time no lines, a beautiful smile that not one person in the room can forget or finish the evening without mentioning, but no frailty – no fragility…I grieve this a whole lot differently then the rest. Shame on my for attempting to put them in a little box labeled death – as though if I grieve them all the same and let them go then I’ll be just fine and can get back to life…that’s not the way it works sadly enough. I grieve this one so differently because the face I see lying in this casket on this perfect summer day is us. Us in the sense that we are staring at someone just shy of our age and our potential – someone who should be standing next to us, instead lying in front of us – for no good reason at all. Besides all the hurt and confusion that comes with this sudden anguish it’s the fact that we are staring into the face of reality – we see what can truly happen; we aren’t invincible, we can’t drive too fast all the time, hurry up to grow up, and care more about what’s in our bank accounts then in our hearts….that could very well have been any number of us – so as we stare at this familiar face we take note we are not our possessions, we are not the money in our pocket or the labels on our backs, we are not our ever failing relationships, the cars we drive or our got damn designer jeans – we are people, we are the essence of youth, we are the essence of opportunity and self starters – we spend so much time trying to quickly grow up get big boy jobs with big boy benefits we forget to live, we forget to slow down, we forget to smell the wicked humid air in fear we miss the next deadline or important meeting where we can kiss someones ass to move up the opportunity ladder that little do we know is balancing on a rolling log. We are what we create ourselves to be – we forget to live and it’s a damn shame it takes such a striking tragedy to bring us all back together again to mourn a great loss of a great soul. To help us remember that he didn’t die in vein – we can’t help but wonder if we would, getting so lost in the everyday bullshit we lose sight of the actual hands of time – we don’t own them we don’t tell them what to do – they tell us: and if one day our watch runs out of batteries have we taken full advantage of the use of each of those passing moments? I sure as hell hope so.
Things like this happen – sure everyday – but not to us, this is a nightmare we’re all hoping to wake up from then you get on Facebook and see how many people are torn up over boys and relationships and parking tickets; I can’t help but say fuck you, grow up. You’re breathing, seeing, touching, hearing and god forbid, feeling the city and streets of life. And you think you’re getting the raw end? We’re all standing on an ugly earth looking up at a beautiful sky, and I pity those of us who have to sit in that beautiful sky and look at this ugly earth. They’ve found peace at last but at the price of not changing the world their way… So take this as a blessing that we still have the beauty to walk around this place while we wonder what they’re doing at their perfectly peaceful hour – cherish it and embrace it: if you don’t hit the ground running in life – it’s going to do it for you leaving you in the dust or in the ashes, drive yourself to leave your legacy your way – you never know when the end is the last page of a chapter or the last page of a book.